Pope John Paul II hasn't taken a hard stand on many of these cults of personality for the sake of the collegiality of the bishops. (Though this is an openly schismatic sect) But one has to wonder when enough is enough? How many will be lured away by this mockery of truth, the Mass, and the priesthood? How many will wink at it and say, "Well, it may help bring someone back to the Church." Does one go from Cleveland to New York by way of Los Angeles? Do you bring a loved one home by taking them to a strangers house?
We may well join our pre-Christ Hebrew brothers and sisters and pray, "How long, O Lord, before You come to save us." How much longer can we, the Church, and Christ, withstand this assault on faith, truth, and all that we, as Catholics, hold dear.
He died in 217 at the hands of the Roman Emperor Caracalla the Cruel and was succeeded to the Apostolic See by Pope Saint Callistus. This Roman-born Pope lasted five years and during this time Latin became the Liturgical Language of the Church and Callistus was responsible for the excavation of the famous catacombs on the Via Appia where today 45 Popes and 200,000 martyrs are buried including Callistus who was beaten to death with clubs and his remains thrown into a well where "Santa Maria in Trastevere" now stands. Pope Callistus not only established the four fasts for Ember days, but it was this 16th pope who decreed Latin to be the official language of the liturgy which has held true ever since. His reasoning followed because for nearly two centuries Latin had been the unofficial language of the common people of Rome and nearby vicinities. As often happens in a class system, there is a division not only in culture but also in language and dialect. So, it was in Rome. Because of the Greek influence, many of those born of noble Roman birth retained and passed on the Greek language and customs.
One of these was Hippolytus a Roman priest who was constantly a thorn in Callistus' side. Upon Callistus' election as Pope Hippolytus broke away from Rome, and became the first antipope in history. Despite the volatile actions of this heretic, before his defection he composed the Apostolic Tradition. This prayer in part has been passed on to this day in the Eucharistic Prayer after the Offertory.
Another tradition credited to Hippolytus was the origin of the Kiss of Peace. Many liturgical scholars attribute its origin to the procedure of segregating men and women into different locations during the mass. This was a throwback to Jewish custom, strongly adopted by the Greeks that women would not participate in religious services except in outer circles of the temple or sanctuary. It was a custom that Christ observed as part of Jewish law and the Church carried on regarding the priesthood and Holy Mass until the advent of the feminist movement which conversely deeply influenced Vatican II.
Many Church historians presume Hippolytus had been born of noble parents and nurtured in the Greek language. In short, he was a scholar. On the other side of the proverbial coin Callistus had been born a slave and always clung to the needs of the poor.
Those, like Callistus, who had been slaves, non-Romans and those who were poor rejected the Greek either out of lack of formal education or their despise for what pagan Rome stood for. They, in turn, adopted Latin as Christians who were, for the most part, in and among the poor as Christ had directed quickly embraced a means of communication and it.
Yet, insurrection was inevitable from the Greek camp. Fired up by Hippolytus they objected vehemently to the abandonment of their language. Only a few things of Greek such as the Kyrie Leison were retained. It was an all-out victory for Latin, but left scars that lasted for centuries and eventually led to a split between East and West.
As time passed, more and more Latin was incorporated into the liturgy of the Mass because it was the common language of the people, they could identify as the language of the Church wherever they went, and it became a possessive tongue where the Christians guarded and treasured this new speech. His Holiness Callistus also reasoned that if the liturgy was conducted in Latin universally, Christians could more readily identify and participate wherever they went. From 220 to 1965, this was the rule rather than the exception. Unfortunately today it's the exception rather than the rule.
The establishment of Latin was St. Callistus' most recognized accomplishment and eventually he returned to his roots, driven to take shelter in the poor and populous quarters of Rome during the terrible persecution of the Emperor Alexander Severus. Pope Callistus was martyred on October 14, 223.
Pope Saint Urban I succeeded him for the next seven years. It was Urban who converted Saint Cecilia to Christianity and had a church built on th site of her martydom in Trastevere in 230 just before he, too was martyred under Severus. It was St. Urban I who consented to the Church being allowed to purchase property.
On July 21, 230 Pope Saint Pontian was elected. During his five year pontificate he ordered the chanting of the psalms and the recital of the Confiteor before death and the use of the salutation Dominus vobiscum. Severus, as he had done to Pontian's predecessors, exiled him to Sardinia along with Hippolytus. Through Pontian's counsel, Hippolytus repented, renouncing his title as antipope and encouraged his followers to return to the true Church. The schism caused by Hippolytus was reconciled and Hippolytus became Saint Hippolytus, shedding his blood for Christ at the hands of his Roman persecutors in 235. Pontian was condemned to work in the mines of Sardinia where he died suffering on the tiny island of Tavolara on September 28, 235.
The next in the line of pontiffs was Pope Saint Anterus, elected on November 21, 235 who was pope for only a few months, being martyred on January 3, 236 by Severus' successor the Roman Emperor Maximinus, a barbarian from Thrace. St. Anterus ordered that the acts and relics of the martyrs be gathered together and kept in churches in a place called the "scrinium".
On January 10, 236 Pope Saint Fabian became the 20th in the line of Peter and ruled 14 years until his death as a martyr on January 20, 250 at the hands of the Roman Emperor Decius. It is recorded that at the moment Fabian's name was announced as the next Sovereign Pontiff, a dove, symbol of the Holy Spirit, alighted on his head. During his pontificate there was such an exodus of Christians from Rome because of the fierce persecution of the wicked Decius that it gave birth to the movement away from Rome, mostly in Turkey and Northern Africa, known as the Anchorites who led lives of solitude as hermits.
Next Wednesday: Installment Ten: The Blood of the Martyrs replenish a flourishing Church part three - Popes of the second half of the Third Century
Death of Saint Hugh from Cluny, an abbot and close friend of fellow monk Hildebrand who became the great Pope Saint Gregory VII. Along with the latter, Hugh was a great reformer of the Church and, during his life, served nine pontiffs faithfully before dying on this date in his beloved Cluny.
Death of Saint Robert of Molesmes, one of the founding fathers of the Cistercians along with Saint Alberic and Saint Stephen Harding.
Death of Saint Catherine of Siena, Virgin and Doctor of the Church. It was through the dauntless efforts of this staunch defender of the faith and traditions that the papacy was returned to Rome after seventy years of exile in Avignon, France. See DAILY LITURGY
The teen-aged Saint Joan of Arc enters the beseiged city of Orleans, France to lead her country in victory over the English in the 100 year war and preserve the faith of Holy Mother Church in France.
Like Saint Thomas More, the Prior Father John Houghton is executed by King Henry VIII for refusing to pledge loyalty to the king, remaining ever faithful to the Roman Catholic Church.
The controversial Cardinal Armand Jean du Plessis Richelieu is appointed chief minister of the Royal Council of France. He would alienate many Catholic countries with his liberalism toward Protestants, often being called the "Cardinal of the Hugenots."
This, my children, is all over the earth. It is on every continent, in every parish, prayer group and in my special places of refuge.
Dear children, ponder well the words of Sacred Scripture which speak of the remnant. What is a remnant? O! It is so few souls who will shine as beacons in a world where satan reigns.
O! You do not pray from your heart. You pray to be seen but God does not see you, nor hear such prayers. Therefore, humble yourself and pray, so that very soon God shall warn the world and show to them His great Mercy!
O! Pray daily these words: "Come, Lord Jesus!" Only in this way will my Immaculate Heart triumph!
I love and bless you. Be mercy that you may receive mercy. Thank you for responding to my Call!
Pray my children, for the hour draws very near when the signs of God's mercy and justice shall be given to all men. Pray, and join your prayers to my Divine Son's Passion, that at this moment all my children shall willingly give their fiat to God. Pray very much for the evil one wants to destroy all of God's plans. The evil one seeks to stir up doubt, confusion, deep anger and bitterness. Many are the graces which have been offered. Many are the graces which my little ones have rejected, not even recognizing the pride of body, mind and, yes, soul, which has overtaken them.
O! Rejoice with me, your Mother, this day! Let every day be a jubilation for the Triune Divinity. Pray that the Will of the Father be done on earth as it is in Heaven. I solemnly tell you the moment is very close. Pray. Convert your heart. Be totally abandoned to God in all things and you shall persevere.
I love and bless you. Hail, O Blessed Trinity, Who alone liveth and reigneth, forever and ever! Amen! Thank you for responding to my Call!